Carrie Kahn

The final words on the The Last Word are: Skip it

But of course the unlikely trio of Anne (Amanda Seyfried, l.), Harriet (Shirley MacLaine), and Brenda (AnnJewel Lee Dixon) have a slow-motion, sunglasses-wearing, strutting down the street moment.

Shirley MacLaine has been making movies for almost six decades, so it’s a shame that as she enters her mid-80s and starts the twilight of her career, she’s not offered projects more worthy of her talents. Case in point is this saccharine, hackneyed new effort from director Mark Pellington, who previously brought us the much more entertaining thrillers The Mothman Prophecies and Arlington Road. In a radical departure from those dramas, Pellington, working from a paint-by-numbers screenplay by first time screenwriter Stuart Ross Fink, turns The Last Word into a predictable, cliché-ridden, and inordinately dull piece of wanna-be comedic fluff that is only barely salvaged by the casting of consummate actress MacLaine in the lead role.
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Groundhog Day in high school: Reliving teen angst proves effective in new drama about growing up

Sam (Zoey Deutch) is stunned to realize she is reliving the same day over and over.

Gen Xers who still have a hard time grasping that all the cool, disaffected icons of their youth (Ethan Hawke, Winona Ryder, Kyra Sedgwick, to name a few) are cast as parents now — and of teenagers no less — will be especially disconcerted by Before I Fall, a teen drama in which the lead actress looks remarkably familiar. Sure, Zoey Deutch had the one major female role in Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some!! last year, but that’s not it. If “Miss Amanda Jones” plays in your head when you see young Zoey on screen, it’s because she’s an absolute dead ringer for the ultimate popular ‘80s It Girl herself: Lea Thompson, who has passed the torch of teen angst on to her millennial daughter.
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Engaging new doc brings us back to rock criticism’s glory days

Last Sunday night, thanks to co-presenters Noise Pop and KQED, a crowd of music aficionados at the Swedish American Hall was treated to a viewing of writer/director Raul Sandelin’s documentary Ticket to Write: The Golden Age of Rock Music Journalism, followed by an engaging Q&A with rock critics Robert Duncan (Creem) and Joel Selvin (San Francisco Chronicle). Sandelin’s film had been making the festival rounds, but has just become available on Amazon Prime, which should please ardent rock history fans everywhere.
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Film Review: Get Out

by Carrie Kahn on February 24, 2017

Don’t stay in: Get Out and see this smart, fresh thriller

Rose (Allison Williams) brings her new boyfriend Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) home to meet her family.

Jordan Peele, one half of the sketch comedy duo Key and Peele, makes his directorial debut with Get Out, a startling original take on the horror film genre that shouldn’t be missed. If you’ve seen the trailer, don’t be fooled; the trailer implies the movie may be a lowbrow, cheesy, run-of-the-mill-horror film, but it’s anything but. What Peele, who also penned the screenplay, has created here is a horror/comedy/social commentary mash up that’s one of the most entertaining, surprising, and utterly unique pictures to come along in years.
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Film critics Carrie and Chad on who will – and who should – win the 89th Academy Awards

The 89th Academy Awards air this Sunday, February 26th on ABC at 5:30pm PST (tune in an hour or so earlier if you want to see any of the red carpet glitz). Once again, Spinning Platters film critics Carrie Kahn and Chad Liffmann share their annual predictions – and hopes – for the major categories. Follow along and see how we – and you – do on the big night!
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Film Review: Fist Fight

by Carrie Kahn on February 17, 2017

Run, don’t walk, away from this fight

Mr. Campbell (Charlie Day) and Mr. Strickland (Ice Cube) moments before they get into a… wait for it… fist fight.

I’m going to try and keep this review short, since you, gentle Spinning Platters readers, deserve better than even to have to read about this painfully awful, joyless, and unfunny new “film.” And I use that term loosely. Suffice to say I sat through 90 minutes of the most mean-spirited, petty, and demoralizing material ever presented as comedy on screen just to bring you this warning: Do. Not. Go. See. This. Movie. It hurts me to even say its title, but in the spirit of educating you so you know what to avoid, the picture in question is called Fist Fight; if you see it on your local theater marquee, now you know to instead choose to see literally anything else that’s playing.
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Film Feature: 2017 Sundance Film Festival Spotlights #3

February 12, 2017

With this final spotlights post, we bring our coverage of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival to a close (you can read the previous posts here and here). We conclude by taking a look at six more feature films, once again using our world famous Sundance Viewing Priority Level (VPL) Guide to discern those films to seek out […]

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Film Feature: 2017 Sundance Film Festival Spotlights #2

February 8, 2017

Our coverage of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival continues with this look at five documentaries that premiered at the Fest a few weeks ago. Many of these may receive distribution or television deals (if they haven’t already; see our notes below), so you can know what to watch for in the coming year with these handy […]

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Film Feature: 2017 Sundance Film Festival Spotlights #1

February 4, 2017

The 2017 Sundance Film Festival ended last Saturday evening after ten days of showcasing over 200 films from around the globe; you can see all the winners here. For the third year in a row, Spinning Platters was on the (snow-covered) ground trying to take in as many movies as our limited time and budget would […]

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Film Review: Patriots Day

January 13, 2017
youtu.be/KJXqh2rDehg

Flawed but well executed, third Berg/Wahlberg collaboration is worth seeing The third time may be the charm for director Peter Berg and actor Mark Wahlberg, who collaborated on two previous films (Deepwater Horizon and Lone Survivor) with middling results. Patriots Day, their new film, is definitely the best of the trio, although it’s not without […]

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